Kissing is one of the greatest things that exists in life. I mean, sure, there are other things that make our brief time on this planet pretty okay: Pizza, clean bedding, sexy dance parties after too much chardonnay — these are all clearly excellent things. But none of them sadly involve getting up close and personal with someone whose bones you wouldn't mind jumping again and again and again and maybe also again. Unless you get reallllly intimate with your chardonnay. In which case, you'll find no judgment here.
But like so many things (except for pizza), there is a dark side to kissing. While it might seem like something that comes naturally, there are people who can't do it very well. Thankfully, it's a learnable skill and many folks are glad, eager, and able tutors. I myself have been known to take on students. I prefer to think of myself as a generous, benevolent institution of smooch-able learning with generous scholarship opportunities. But there are some factors that are going to take a kiss from good to vomit-worthy no matter what you do. Accept that there are some things beyond your control and please enjoy these nine things that can make a kiss truly awful.
1. Stubble: Them or You
I don't mind making out with a dude who has a beard. They are sexy and also pleasant to pet. But I DO mind smacking lips together when someone's face is covered in stubble. Not because it isn't fun, but because when we part ways I look like I have herpes of the face. Additionally, while I am not a very hairy person, nothing makes a person feel less sexy than macking it to a fella and realizing that one, very long chin hair of her own is brushing up against one very long chin hair of his. I get that some women do have hair on their faces and that's totally cool. I'm talking about that one, psycho, rogue hair that interrupts existence. NO. Barf twice.
2. Too Much Tongue
Look. A perfectly moving tongue in your mouth is one of God's great gifts. But a tongue that seems to have a seizure disorder separate from the person in whose mouth it resides? That is not sexy. If you are worried you are going to choke on your make-out partner's taste muscle, you are not having a very good kiss.
3. Not Enough Tongue
We've established that tongue can make or break a kiss. Too much and you will horrify your partner, not enough and you'll leave them wondering what you did to turn them off, or if you've maybe watched one too many movies of yore and get off on the very passionate but fluid-less cinematic clinch. Less gazing, more Frenching please.
4. Too Many Teeth, Somehow
One time I was going to Smoochville, USA with this guy, and I began to panic. That is because as the kissing went on, it became vastly apparent that he, like a shark, had row after row after row of teeth. There were so many teeth! This was actually an oral illusion caused by the fact that his kissing was driven, not by his mouth but by the hard exposed bones he usually employed to chew food stuffs. Not hot.
5. The Hickey Machines
It was a lovely first date. You aren't sure if it's a perfect match, but you want to see them again. They lean in for that first sweet kiss goodnight and suddenly they are stuck to your person like the leeches in Stand By Me. They won't let go until they've left their mark! Hickies left in the heat of passion = a well-earned war wound. Hickies in between your eyes left there by an overly aggressive relative stranger? THE WORST.
6. Open-Eyed Kisses
I feel like the GIF does most of the heavy lifting here for me. Closing your eyes when you lean in for a smooch is just good manners. It will also prevent your partners from wondering if you have ever kidnapped, dismembered, and interred any former dates in your unfinished cellar. Pro-tip: No one likes worrying they are going to be killed on a date.
7. Too Much Booze
This one is fine when you're both drunk, but if just one of you has been tippling at the sauce, not so much. A drunk person trying to kiss a sober person is like watching a not-very-smart zombie try to eat the face off of another person. Making out with a drunk person requires a rain jacket in the least sexy way imaginable. Because, saliva. So much saliva.
8. A Runny Nose
Kissing someone with a runny nose is my own private idea of hell. I get it, you like someone enough, you get familiar with their fluids but OH MY GOD I DO NOT WANT YOUR SNOT. DO NOT WANT. KEEP IT TO YOURSELF OR SOON YOU WILL EXPERIENCE THE SALTY SWEET TANG OF MY VOM.
9. A Delicious Meal
This is a price I have paid (willingly) several times over. Do you eat the loaded hamburger for lunch when you've got the hot date that night? For me the answer is always yes. This is probably why I have had so many first dates and how I earned that nickname Becca "Burger Mouth" Stokes. Ah well, you win some, you lose some, and you leave some hottie's mouth tasting like ground beef. All in a day's work I say, allllll in a day's work.
Images: ABC; Giphy (9)